Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry (3DN)

Understanding the health and support needs of younger people with disabilities discharged from hospitals to residential aged care

Project Main Description

Younger people living in residential aged care (RAC) typically have high clinical needs and experience activity limitations as a result of disability. It is well acknowledged that inappropriate placement in RAC (often due to a lack of other options) contributes to a number of significant issues for younger people in RACs, including social isolation, lack of appropriate recreational activities, and a lack of support to actively participate in everyday and community-based activities. The project will utilise existing linked datasets (currently held by our team at 3DN) from which we will identify the health, support needs and pathways of younger people with disabilities discharged from NSW hospitals to RAC from 2001-2015. We will use these findings to identify avenues to improve health outcomes for young people discharged to RAC. The project will involve consumers and community members to ensure the work is relevant to the needs and wishes of younger people with disabilities. This project is funded by the Summer Foundation. 


Project members: 

Prof Julian Trollor, Dr Rachel Cvejic, Dr Simone Reppermund, Dr Preeyaporn Srasuebkul, Prof Brian Draper, Dr. Adrienne Withall, Dr Tim Watkins, Adrian Walker.


Project aims: 

The aims of our project are to: 

  1. Determine the pathways for younger people with disabilities to RAC. We will examine clinical and sociodemographic predictors of discharge from hospital to RAC.
  2. Describe the health profile of younger people with disabilities discharged to RAC and compare this to a matched community-dwelling cohort.
  3. Compare short-, medium-, and long-term outcomes following hospitalisation for younger people with disabilities discharged to RAC to those of a matched community-dwelling cohort (e.g. time to and rates of representation to the emergency department (ED) and/or readmission and risk of death).
  4. To build capacity though an ongoing partnership with the Summer Foundation. As part of a broader, ongoing program with the Summer Foundation we propose to establish a new linked cohort of all younger people living in RAC from the National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse, linking to other relevant datasets, including future potential to link to the NDIS.


Where the project is at: 

We have begun data analysis for Aim 1, and are about to start meeting with younger people with disabilities in residential aged care for their thoughts on our research. 


Future deliverables: 

Specific outcomes include: 

  1. Identifying predisposing factors upon which to focus for the prevention of new RAC admissions.
  2. Developing a better understanding of the support needs of younger people with disabilities. 
  3. Identifying opportunities to improve health outcomes for those discharged to RAC. 
  4. Creating a joint funding submission with the Summer Foundation to undertake a broader program of work on younger people with disabilities in RAC. 
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